I’m nearing the end of my stay at VCCA. It’s been a relatively productive period, and I have made a lot of progress on shaping a new novel. (If nothing else, I think I found a killer title for it.)
We didn’t have a lot of artist presentations this week, which I was happy about. I love the presentations, but it’s not so great when they happen every night. Not that anyone is obligated to attend, but I like to support the other resident fellows and, besides, they can be inspiring.
On Thursday we had a couple of brief open studios. First, Margie Nea, a photographer, showed us some of her amazing photographs from her many trips taken on behalf of Bread for the World and other organizations. The accompanying YouTube video shows some of these pictures.
Then we moved to the next studio where Katherine Fahey did a performance of her “cranky”—a light-box puppet show illustrating a shape-note song about a pioneering Vermont woman. (That description does NOT do the project justice; check out her website to get a better idea of what she’s doing.)
Then on Friday night we had two poets reading in the living room. First Sabra Loomis read from her book and also some newer poems—lyrical and very moving work about family, friends, and landscape. And then Dan Vera also read from his book and some newer poems. Dan’s work is edgy and sometimes political. Both Sabra and Dan were very good readers. Plus, they supplied a couple of big bottles of wine, some chocolate and nuts, and so many of us stayed around after the reading to talk. It was the first night I didn’t go back to the studio in the evening to work.
It’s been a nice stay. As always, I hope I can carry some momentum with me when I resume work at home on Monday. We’ll see.